Pte Eric Pitman & Daisy Pitman
Eric was Lt Pitman’s older first cousin who lived until 1908 in their Walthamstow home during his parent’s nasty divorce. Eric married Daisy (nee Watt) in 1908, the year that Bob, his sisters, mom and grandma immigrated to Canada (perhaps out of necessity since the house would have been sold that same year). Eric and Daisy’s Stanley was born a couple of years before the outbreak of war.
Eric was a Traveler (salesman) for a manufacturing concern so although a professional, enlisted in 1915 as a private with the 16th London Regiment (Queen’s Westminster Rifles). As a rifleman he was considered a sharpshooter, but was invalided in 1917 with wounds.
The true characters Eric and Daisy feature in the story in order for Bob to make a connection with the life he left after moving to Canada. It was a thrill to determine that they actually lived in a London suburb within walking distance from the Maudsley Hospital where Bob was treated for shell shock. And it was a writer’s delight to be able to keep such an historical reference to create the introduction of Daisy’s lifetime friend Cissy to Bob, which became such a central relationship in the Seeking Courage story.